We were recently offered the opportunity to review some artwork and frames from Desenio. Desenio is a stunning website full of affordable art posters, prints and co-ordinating frames. When I say affordable… I actually couldn’t believe the prices or the value for money, when I was browsing the website! It actually took Mike and I a few days to decide which posters to order. It would be so easy to choose art for every wall in the house from Desenio. There is a huge selection of very varied pieces of art. From abstract watercolour images, to inspirational quotes and even animals, it would seem there is something to suit all tastes.
For my budget, I was expecting to only be able to get three or four small posters and three frames if I was lucky. I was wrong! I managed to get SIX large posters, one GIANT poster AND SIX quality frames too. The 30×40 white wooden frames look so classy and they were only £12.95 each!
Whilst we debated every room in the house, trying to make a decision, two posters caught my eye and we instantly knew we had to get those! We have always called our youngest “Baby Bear” and now he’s a toddler, we mostly just call him “Bear”. Now Bear’s bedroom currently has a circus theme. So what could be more appropriate to go in a frame on his wall, than a bear on a yellow tricycle, with a dog holding an umbrella, on his back? The poster was aptly titled, “Bear on a yellow bike”.
And to co-ordinate with the bear on a tricycle, there’s also a matching bear on a bicycle, carrying a surfboard, with a bird on his baseball cap! If you want to search for it on Desenio, it’s titled “Surfing Bear Poster”. They were absolutely perfect, so we just had to have them. We bought them in 30x40cm sized posters (£9.95 each), with white wooden frames
Now personally, I think that two pictures side by side, would look a bit odd, so we needed to find a third. We chose the “Rules of a superhero” poster. Again we chose 30x40cm and white wooden frames, so that they’d all match. The poster bears the quote:
“True superheroes are brave and courageous, use kind words and do their best. Smile. Have fun. Laugh. Share their toys. Clean their room. Dream Big. Play in the rain and explore. Have good manners. Brush their teeth and do their homework. Help others”.
The three pictures together, look great. We staggered the heights slightly, for effect, but essentially had to put them very high up, to keep them away from curious little fingers. Bear LOVES his new artwork!
So with Bear’s new art in the basket, we decided that our oldest daughter, Bunny, should also have some new artwork for her bedroom wall. She currently shares a bedroom with her twin sisters, whilst we are awaiting our extension to be built. We thought a few nice pieces of art above her bed, would give her a nice little bit of space to reflect her individual taste. Now I know you were expecting me to say that we chose posters with bunnies on… but actually, Bunny’s obsession is cats.
Having perused every single cat poster on the Desenio website, we chose three that we knew Bunny would love.
The poster quite simply titled “cats”, was a black and white cartoon style picture of 14 different cats. This one was £9.95 and again we stuck with the 30×40 dimensions. To contrast with the cartoon-esque style, we chose a stunningly detailed close up photograph of a cat’s face, with a butterfly landing on it.
The detail and clarity in this “butterfly cat” picture makes you want to just keep looking at it. In a 30×40 poster, this one was £11.95 and worth every penny. So with a photographic cat and a bunch of cartoon cats, we wanted to add further contrast to this duo of wall art. We added “Proud cat”, which looks more like a painted, completely undetailed cat (almost a silhouette), with deliberate ink smudging around the tail.
We hung this one on the wall in a 21×30 size (£8.95), in between the two larger pictures. I love the contrast of three entirely different types of art, coming together as a set, based on the common theme of cats. It works. It looks great on the wall and my 11 year old is thrilled with it.
Our final choice was just for me. We bought a giant poster full of inspirational quotes for our hallway. As a writer, I’ve always loved quotes – I think they are good for the soul. We bought this one in a 50×70 size for only £18.95. And as much as I’d love to show you this poster, this one will remain a secret for now, as we are waiting to have our hallway replastered. Once it’s all fresh and painted, I will update this post with some pictures of that poster too! In the meantime, if curiosity gets the better of you, you can find it on the Desenio website titled, “Manifesto of Life”. It’s absolutely awesome, trust me!
The Desenio website was easy to navigate, had more artwork than I could even comprehend and checkout was quick, easy and secure. The posters and frames were exceptionally well packaged, but without being excessive. All the artwork and frames arrived quickly and in immaculate condition. I was thoroughly impressed with my experience with Desenio, from start to finish and I still can’t believe the value for money on their products. I would definitely shop with them again and I imagine one day I will have Desenio art work in every room!
Special Reader Offer
I have an exciting special offer for Crazy with Twins readers. Head over to the Desenio website and select the posters you’d like to buy and enter this code… The code “CRAZYWITHTWINS” gives 25% off prints* on all of our sites between March 5th and 7th 2019. *Except for frames and handpicked-/collaboration/personalised prints
Sometimes in life, it’s not enough to just break a habit or two, you need to make long term lifestyle changes to succeed. We are only two months into the new year and already it has been a crazy rollercoaster of a ride. But I have decided it’s time for my luck to change. It’s time to work harder at my ambitions. My book wont write itself. My blogs wont grow by themselves. I’m not going to get sales by sitting back and doing nothing. I’m not going to improve in every aspect of my life, unless I take charge and put my heart and soul into everything I do.
I feel like every health knock back, I have had these past two months, have made me throw myself further into my work and my family. My incomplete miscarriage, a bad cold, fevers, night sweats, many hospital appointments and my impending dental surgery. It’s like the bad health fairy is trying to knock me down, but it’s having the reverse effect. The more knockbacks I get with my health, the more determined I am to make a success of my businesses and be the best mum and wife I can be. I get knocked down… but I get up again!
My mental health is soaring. My drive, my determination, my ambition is rocketing. By making just a few lifestyle changes, we can achieve so much in both our personal and professional lives.
Lifestyle Changes and Home Goals
Mike and I have decided to prioritise the renovations that we would like done in our home. We’ve made a list of which tasks are the most important and which order we are going to tackle each task. We’ve re-budgeted all our finances, focussing on less eating out, being more conscious of wasting money and ways to do that. Paying off some debts, increasing business revenue and meal planning, are just a few of those strategies. Taking the children to National Trust properties, museums, picnics and parks, rather than expensive days out. By being stricter on ourselves, we’ve planned a saving strategy. We’ve set goals and timescales for most aspects of our home life. These aren’t new years resolutions, these are lifestyle changes. Instead of splurging on things and paying it back later, we are going to save hard and achieve all our goals.
In January, I made the final payment on a debt that has been hanging over me for the last three and a half years. A debt that wasn’t even mine, but I was forced to pay, as the other person made themselves untraceable. It’s a huge weight off our shoulders. We finished paying off another age-old debt just before Christmas. With debts out of the way, it’s time to move on to achieving the things we want.
By the end of 2019, we hope to have renovated most (maybe even ALL) of our home, to have it just the way we want it. We are going to get onto the builders to make sure our extension is definitely built this year. And post extension, it will be the garden’s turn for a make-over.
We are going to book at least two of the abroad holidays that we have always talked about booking. We may even sneak in a few UK holidays too.
We are going to invest in a better family car and make sure we end the year completely debt free. It’s amazing what tightening your belt and working harder can achieve.
I’m personally going to put a lot more effort into taking care of my body, looking after my skin and hair. My Body Shop at Home business has already worked wonders on my confidence, self esteem and beauty regime.
Lifestyle Changes and Business Goals
I have set targets for both of my businesses.
At the start of January, I set myself some targets for my Body Shop at Home business. I well and truly SMASHED those targets in January AND February and hit bonus both months too! I even made the top 5 for sales in my entire region. I really hope that this is the start of things to come and that I can sustain this level of success month on month.
I have now set myself some targets for both of my blogs.
I want to treble my traffic on my travel blog, work on SEO and start ranking for more keywords.
I want to MORE THAN treble my traffic on this blog.
I want to double the income I make from blogging.
I don’t know what has fired me up, but I just feel like this is going to be our year. I have the motivation. I have the positivity. I have the strategies. I have the determination. Determination to work hard and improve every aspect of my work life and home life. I feel like this is the year I’m actually going to get results. This is the year that success is going to take hold. I’m done with bad luck and bad health and muddling along. Muddling along and getting through isn’t going to inspire my children. Showing them that hard work and determination are the key to success… that’s what inspires them. A few little lifestyle changes to change our lives for the better. This is where is all begins. Right here. Starting with me!
My 11 year old daughter Bunny, is soon to be in her very first secondary school production!
She absolutely LOVED acting in primary school. Actually scrap that. She absolutely LOVED any kind of performance. Whether it was gymnastics in the school talent show, speaking in an assembly, dancing or even singing in a school play. She always auditioned for the bigger parts and she made me so emotional when she sang her solo in her final primary school play.
I was never in any of my own secondary school productions and I kind of think that if I went back to secondary school now (not that I’d want to… hell no!), that’s one thing I would do second time around. So it goes without saying, that I found it quite exciting, when Bunny told me that she has signed up for the school production of CATS. She was OVER-THE-MOON-EXCITED as she had been given not just one, but numerous different parts to rehearse. She has a speaking (morelike chanting) part. She has a gymnastics part, she has a chorus part, and she’s been allocated a specific “CAT”. I’ve been ordered to buy tickets to go and watch. Chats about her costume keep evolving. Rehearsals have been getting longer and longer.
A few weeks ago, I had picked her up from rehearsal early. She was sat in reception in tears and told us she’d been kicked out of rehearsal. I’d emailed the teacher producing the show and she’d assured me that nobody had kicked her out. It later emerged that Bunny had been told to leave, by some other children, who were really nasty about it. I emailed again and the problem was supposedly resolved.
Two weeks later, I found out from her teacher that she was skipping production rehearsals and hadn’t been for a fortnight. It was news to me – I’d been picking her up from school at 6pm! Having already marched into school and demanded to speak to her tutor about some of her own bad behaviour, I decided to change tack for this one. So I took her out, just me and her. Nowhere exciting, just a couple of shops – this wasn’t a reward, it was just me and her time. I got upset. I cried in front of her. I couldn’t believe she had been lying to me about her whereabouts, about CATS, about what she was doing until 6pm and about a few other school things too. It felt horrible.
After a long chat, which started with “dunno” type answers, we eventually got some conversation and some answers. It turns out… those girls hadn’t left her alone. Those girls were so nasty to her at rehearsals, that she stopped going and hid in a computer room at school, rather than telling anyone. So all the time I’d been picking her up late from school, thinking she was rehearsing and actually she was hiding from the mean girls. She was ashamed to tell me as I’d bought a ticket to watch.
So once we’d had our little heart-to-heart, I told Bunny that that is NOT the way to deal with bullies. And that actually snitches DON’T get stitches! That we can’t deal with these problems if we don’t know about them and she can’t let mean girls control her life for the next five years!
The next day, she found the courage to report those girls. And I wrote to the teacher producing the play to explain what had happened. She wrote back, offering Bunny all of her parts back to her, on the condition she makes every rehearsal from now on. Bunny came home full of beans, back to her happy self and presented me with a printed out rehearsal schedule. She’s now rehearsing until 6pm every day and missing some lessons and assemblies for rehearsals. In fact, this production is being taken so seriously, that she has to be at school 9-5 for rehearsals on SUNDAY!
Bunny’s excitement and enthusiasm is back. The mean girls are being nice to her. She’s been given even more scenes and she’s been coming home with new additions to her costume every day. She’s had her clothes spray-painted. She came home with a collar and braces earlier in the week. Yesterday she came home with ears and today she even got her tail stuffed!
I’m so pleased to see her enjoying it again and that she’s no longer going to let other people stand in the way of what she wants. I literally CANNOT WAIT to see her perform on that stage now. The more excited she gets, the more excited I get!
Oh… but I’m on strict orders not to post any photos of her costume until after the school production… it’s a secret!
TRIGGER WARNING: Please don’t read this post if the subject of incomplete miscarriage will upset you or cause emotional distress. This post is quite detailed.
I started 2019, feeling tired and unwell. I was 9 weeks pregnant and had both a cyst on my ovary and a bleed in my womb. It’s taken a while to talk about it, as it’s been pretty raw. My husband and I had confided in a family member about our pregnancy, and that family member went and told all the family, even though we’d asked her to keep it a secret. It made it so much harder when we then had to tell everyone that we had lost that baby. Not only that, but I haemorrhaged, was taken to hospital by ambulance and spent a day and night in hospital. Alone. Nobody would watch the children, so Mike couldn’t come to hospital with me. I’d lost an estimated litre of blood and my blood sugars dropped right down. It was only a night and day but with hormones and emotions all over the place, we missed each other terribly and all we wanted, in that time, was to be by each other’s side.
I sat in the ambulance bay of A&E with people who were drunk, people who had overdosed, people who had headaches, elderly people who had taken a fall, and a fair few people who seemed to be there against their will. I knew ambulance services were overstretched, so I hadn’t actually called 999 myself. I called 111 for advice and a ambulance had arrived within 8 minutes. I was weak, tired, dizzy, desperately thirsty, and missing my husband. A&E was short staffed and overcrowded. Half of those people had self inflicted illnesses or injuries. Another quarter should have gone to a minor injury unit or gone to out of hours. The hospital ward I was sent to was short staffed, dirty, in dire need of renovation and it hit me how badly the NHS has suffered due to funding cuts.
This is the state of the toilet on my hospital ward BEFORE I used it! Is this really hygienic enough for patients on a gynae ward in an NHS hospital?
The staff on duty hurt me. The doctor ignored my pleads for her to be gentle when she examined me. She hurt me to the point I was screaming out loud and squeezing the nurses hand. The doctor showed me what she’d pulled from the neck of my womb and then left the room for me to get dressed. There was blood all down my legs and I sat there sobbing loudly, feeling violated and full of grief. I had to ask for something to clean myself with and the doctor was of no help. Thankfully a nurse came to my rescue, with everything I needed to get cleaned up. Nobody could cannulate me. I had puncture wounds and bruises all over both arms, where they couldn’t get drip in or blood out. I was a crying wreck. The doctor eventually apologised, but it was too late. The damage was done.
It’s taken me three weeks to be able to write about this and I am sat here sobbing as I write it. I feel traumatised by the memory. But I find writing cathartic. My blog is my therapy and this is my way of getting through it.
I eventually got given a bed at 4:30am and then an anaesthetist came in to finally cannulate me successfully. They woke me at 6am to take my obs. I heard the breakfast cart come around at 8am and it missed me. They stood outside my door and a nurse told them I was nil-by-mouth and couldn’t have anything. They hadn’t even told me. At this point, even not being allowed a cup of tea made me cry some more. I was so hungry, that I cried again about that. And through it all, all I really wanted was my husband.
When a doctor eventually surfaced, I asked about why I was nil-by-mouth. He said I couldn’t get a scan until Monday and that I’d possibly need surgery after the scan. I was then allowed to eat and drink again and just had to wait for bloods and someone to remove my canula. My mum and stepdad drove up from Dorset to comfort me and I was discharged early in the evening. They drove me home and Mike was left to pick up the pieces of his broken wife.
I have been diagnosed with an “incomplete miscarriage”. Part of our “pregnancy” (as the professionals tactfully call it), is stuck inside my womb, not wanting to leave. I can’t tell you what feelings and images that conjures for me. I’ve been offered 3 options.
Wait and see if my body completes the process itself.
Take medication which will cause painful contractions and further blood loss (and might not work).
Surgery. Either awake or anaesthetised.
We’ve opted for option 1, to give me time to heal emotionally.
So here we are four weeks in, with an incomplete miscarriage. I’ve kept myself busy with work and the children. I’m starting to think about it less. My emotions are settling. My hormones are settling. But I am worried. I know nothing has happened yet and I don’t really want to suffer options 2 or 3. I’ve also just found out I have to have dental surgery to extract 2 of my wisdom teeth. If you have read my post about the tooth extraction from hell, you’ll know I am extremely phobic of any dental work. So 25 days into January and I’ve been to hospital on seven of those days. I have more appointments lined up and I’m facing one or two surgeries in the next month or two.
So I’m sorry to those of my friends who have been asking why I’ve not felt up to discussing why I’ve been back and forth to hospital. It’s nothing personal. I just don’t want to chat about it. Suffering an incomplete miscarriage Writing it here, means I can get it off my chest and update everyone, without having to repeat my story so much that it hurts. I don’t need sympathy or well wishes. Mike and I are happy to deal with this quietly together, without any well-meaning messages. Just know that I will be okay. I AM okay. WE are okay.
Running two businesses, having four gorgeous children and one incredibly supportive husband, is keeping me busy, positive and strong. And for that I am immensely thankful.
Most of my life, I have been one of those people who is happy to wait until the last minute for things. I always used to do all my Christmas shopping a few days before. Valentines Day, I’d pop out and buy something the day before. There have been more than one occasion where I’ve crashed into the post office just a few moments before the post man, to post a birthday present. Pancake day, I’m usually found frantically searching the aisles for flour, milk, eggs, lemons and Nutella, about an hour before dinner! (We always have our pancakes for dessert). I guess I’m just not one to rush things and I’ve never had a problem with that.
Mothers Day however, is the one occasion I always seem to leave a bit more time to plan. Probably because my mum doesn’t live near me, so I have to plan ahead for getting her present to her.
I’m not sure what has changed, but the past year, things have been different. I actually started my Christmas shopping in SEPTEMBER! I bought my Mum’s birthday present two weeks early. We have started making my birthday plans three weeks early, instead of three days before. My children’s birthday presents and parties are usually planned the week before. It’s only February and my husband and I have already started planning the girls birthday presents and parties… which aren’t until May! We’ve discussed Bear’s birthday present too and his birthday isn’t until July.
Mothers Day 2019
So it makes sense that I’m also planning even further ahead for Mother’s Day too.
Mother’s Day in the UK is on 31st March this year (2019).
In the USA Mothering Sunday is on the 12th May 2019.
I already know what I’m going to get my mum! And for those of you reading this, who also want to plan ahead, I thought I’d make a few suggestions of great Mothers Day gifts.
Flowers are always a brilliant choice, whether you order online or deliver in person. Who doesn’t love flowers?
Another popular option is always jewellery. A quick trip to Pandora and you’ll definitely score some good daughter or son points!
For those whose mums aren’t on a diet, don’t just go for the first box of chocolates you see in the Supermarket… shop around and get the nicest box of choccies you can find! It’s not the first place that pops into your mind, but large garden centres often have luxury chocolates (as well as cookies, cakes, jams, cheeses and chutneys).
Experiences also make a popular Mothers Day gift. You really can’t beat spending time with someone and making memories together. So how about a spa day in the countryside or afternoon tea at the Ritz (or somewhere equally as fancy)?
Does your mum collect something? Is there a particular ornament or collectable she adores? Make a note of the ones she already has and go the extra mile to find the one she hasn’t got or can’t find.
Keen gardener? Book worm? Avid yoga fan? Crazy cat lady? If your mum has a particular hobby or interest, get something personal to that passion. It’s the thought that counts remember.
We only get one mum and no matter how much time we get to spend with her, it’s never enough. Make sure you always put the effort in and get her something special on Mothers Day, whether that’s a lavish gift, or your precious time, or both.
If you’ve read the news recently, you’ll know that weather forecasters are predicting that the UK will be hit with a deluge of snow from tonight onwards!
This not only promises days of disruption and delays out on the road, but it also recreates the age old challenge of keeping yourself warm while also maintaining a keen sense of style.
This is a genuinely tough balance to strike, and I’ve made a number of faux-pas while trying to make my winter wardrobe work! I’ve also learned some lessons along the way, however, so here are some tips to look stylish and stay warm during a winter cold snap.
Make your Coat the Focal Point of your Wardrobe
If you’re going to look smart this winter, choosing which coat to wear is one of the most important decisions that you’ll make.
After all, there’s a huge range of stylish winter coats available on the market, while these garments are made to offer warmth and provide protection against the cold. Long, three-quarter length coats are particularly fit for purpose, while shearling jackets are also in vogue and capable of providing exceptional warmth.
With the right choice of winter coat, you can easily strike the balance between style and warmth, without necessarily having to spend huge amounts of your hard-earned cash.
I’d also recommend donning a stylish and matching scarf or pashmina, as this adds a unique sense of style and some much needed warmth.
Layer your Clothing
Whether you’re at home or abroad, layering your tops and clothes remains one of the best ways of coping with changeable climates.
It also creates a flexible and comfortable look, and one that can reflect your unique sense of style as an individual.
Layers of fine knit tops can keep you warm more effectively than one big chunky sweater, for example, while wearing natural and breathable fabrics like cotton and wool can also bring your winter wardrobe to life.
I’d say that cashmere is the perfect fabric for layering as it’s lightweight, soft and retains heat really well, while it’s also deceptively affordable.
Introduce Colour and Comfort with Micro Fleece Pants
When selecting your winter trousers, you could do far worse than investing in a few pairs of low-cost, micro fleece pants.
These pull-on garments, which are sold through online retailers like Damart, are extremely comfortable to wear, while they feature a draw cord that enables you to adjust the fit to suit your body shape and style expectations.
As they’re made from fleece, these trousers are also exceptionally warm, while they can be purchased in a range of bright and vibrant colours that bring your wardrobe to life!
In November 2018 I embarked on a new venture and became a Body Shop at Home consultant. This was not instead of blogging, but in addition to it. Blogging and writing is still my career. The Body Shop at Home is a side project but nevertheless it is one that has very quickly become important to me. I have joined for a number of reasons but I feel quite passionate about it. So first I’m going to start with WHY…
I became a Body Shop at Home Consultant for a number of reasons. I’m going to go through them in order of importance to me.
1. Self-esteem and confidence
Due to things that have happened in my life, past relationships, emotional well-being and all kinds of things, my confidence has crumbled over the last few years. My self-esteem was at rock bottom.
I avoided mirrors. I avoided cameras. I hid my body under hoodies and jeans. I didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t look after my skin or hair. I didn’t follow fashion. I didn’t look after ME. I did in the sense of eating well and getting fresh air, I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs or consume caffeine. But that’s about it. I LOVE looking after my family and I always put myself last. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t feel worthy enough to treat myself or take pride in my appearance. I felt ugly and unattractive. Both on the outside and on the inside. And most of the time I busied myself in other things, because when I stopped and thought about it, it got my down. I was not comfortable in my own skin.
And it wasn’t just skin deep. My confidence waned when I had to speak to someone new or talk on the phone. These are things I had never had a problem with before. I also had it in my head that nobody GENUINELY likes me and that people just humour me (and then slag me off behind my back).
But I didn’t want to feel that forever. I wanted my confidence and self-esteem back. I wanted to be able to walk up to anyone and spark up a conversation. I thought about how nice it would be, to be able to look in the mirror and not get this sinking feeling in my stomach every time I see my reflection. To have the confidence to be in photos and maybe even make vlogs or do live videos. To feel like I’m not worthless.
So. I thought that becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant might help me with that. On two different levels.
On the communication side of things, becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant would mean I have to get out there and talk to people. I’d go out to parties and chat to hosts and their guests. You need confidence to be able to sell things. To be able to recruit new members. To lead parties and close sales.
And on a more personal level, being a Body Shop at Home Consultant would give me more opportunity to try new products. Inspire me to start taking care of my skin and hair. Allow me to try all these things without spending a fortune on them. And makeup too.
And I was right. It did improve my confidence, in even more ways than I expected. It did push me out of my comfort zone and it has turned around my entire way of thinking about my myself.
The Body Shop at Home Consultant Starter Kit!
2. Social Life
I love my family to pieces. I wouldn’t change them for the world. My four incredible children and my husband are my WHOLE WORLD. And because of that, I didn’t really have a social life outside of my family, beyond coffee with a friend once every few months. I try to see my mum once a month but the rest of my wider family, I don’t see very often as they live far away. A few times a year perhaps. And I had never really seen my lack of social life as a problem. I’m not into going out drinking anymore. I don’t dance or run anymore. And somehow my social life became non existent. My friends were still there, but they were distant.
But then I started to wonder if perhaps getting a social life would be good for me. Good for my confidence. And good in the sense that I won’t feel desperately lonely when my littlest is old enough to go to school! He’s my little sidekick and we go everywhere together.
Becoming a Body Shop At Home Consultant gave me a brand new social life. It’s a talking point for anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Chatting through the sales offers, the products in the catalogue and giving advice on which are the best products to buy, got me engaging in conversation with lots of different people. Posting on social media, doing live videos, running raffles, giveaways and playing games increased my online social life too. And going out to run stalls and host parties made me step well and truly outside of my comfort zone. In the ten months I’ve been doing this, I’ve made so many new friends from it and built on existing friendships too. Acquaintances have become friends, friends of friends have become friends. People I never had an excuse to meet up with before, I do now.
3. Wanting to succeed
I think that in order to feel fulfilled, we need to have goals and ambitions to work towards. We need to be good at something, succeed at something, as a way of appreciating our own worth as individuals. An individual as opposed to a mum or a wife or a writer. I thrive on goals and pressure and deadlines. I love shopping and I love the feeling of doing well at something. In my first month, I met three out of my four personal targets (which I set for myself) as a Body Shop Consultant. I then went from a consultant with no team members in January, to a Manager with a full team in just three months. I also won a place on the first ever consultant retreat, meaning that I got to stay in a lovely four star hotel for two nights, with all meals paid for and meet lots of other Body Shop at Home Consultants. I’ve also won vouchers and been sent flower bouquets and chocolate bouquets and all kinds of other lovely prizes for doing well. And I’m not the anomaly either. Lots of the girls on my team, do equally as well as me for sales and some of them even earn MORE than me. It’s a business where anyone can do well.
Even now, ten months in, I feel genuinely excited when I click through the brochure, when I chat to others about the products and when I type orders into the system. These are products I have bought, used and loved myself since I was a kid. We are talking 20+ years. So selling a product I know and love makes it fun and exciting, rather than a chore or “work”.
This was one of the graphics I made, to accompany my first YouTube vlog for The Body Shop at Home.
4. To earn some extra money
I make my full time income from freelance writing, blogging and sometimes travelling. But who doesn’t want to earn a bit of extra money? I have four children who each had very big Christmas lists (and a husband with an even bigger one) so being with The Body Shop at Home before Christmas really helped me to get them a few really lovely things for Christmas.
Becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant means that a week after I put through everyone’s orders, I get paid a percentage as commission. Every penny adds up right? This is a side venture. My Body Shop Business will hopefully run alongside my blogging business for a long time. It won’t replace it. Being self employed means swings and roundabouts with income. You have good weeks and bad weeks. Sometimes you have to wait months for clients to pay their invoices. So my Body Shop commission will really help on the weeks where I’m waiting for payments from my other business. And this one is a lot easier for accounting!
I’ve had a mixed reception to becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant. Some of the friends who I hoped would be hugely supportive, weren’t. Other friends who I didn’t expect to support me in this venture, have been amazing. I’ve grown my customer group from friends, family, friends of friends, party hosts, party guests, stalls, fundraisers and social media.
Bunny stood behind a Body Shop at Home stall I had set up at a Christmas market
Why would you buy from a Body Shop Consultant?
I’ve had the odd one or two people say something like, “well if I want something, I’ll go to the shop and get it”. So let me explain the benefits of buying from a Body Shop Consultant as opposed to buying from a shop.
Firstly, Body Shop at Home Consultants have different prices to the tangible stores. We do sales when the stores don’t and offer all kinds of crazy deals and discounts. We did a HUGE Black Friday sale with discounts way bigger than the stores. I also do raffles and giveaways for people to win products. Sometimes we are able to offer freebies. And best of all… We are like personal shoppers. We can give advice and tips and help you decide which products are right for you. And sometimes a store might be out of stock of a particular item, but we have it or can get it. We can often tell you when a sale is coming too, so you don’t buy something at full price and regret it the next day. Body Shop Consultants give you that personal touch that you don’t get from shopping online and we can dedicate more time to helping you test and explore products than they could in store.
Body Shop at Home Parties and Pamper Evenings
And the parties… or pamper evenings… whatever name you prefer… If you host a party, you get our undivided time and attention. You get free reign to test out any product in our kit. We play games, your guests can win prizes and above all, it’s a really good giggle and an excuse to get all your friends together. And dependant on how much your guests spend on placing orders, the host gets free products and heavily discounted products.
I hosted my first party in January and all the guests had a really good giggle. They loved the games and the prizes, but I think most of all, they loved being able to test all the products and ask questions about them, with no time limits. It can be awkward testing products in a shop, but sat on a chair in a friends house, with a glass of wine, taking your time, is quite a relaxing experience. The host bagged herself lots of free products and had the option to buy more at 70% off! People were able to do skin tests, colour matching and smell everything. I hadn’t even realised quite how extensive my kit had grown, until I laid it all out at the party, but it was so much fun. I’ve since done lots more parties and am always looking to book more.
My Body Shop at Home Group
If you couldn’t tell from the passion in this post, I’m really enjoying being a Body Shop at Home Consultant and I’m really hoping that it’s something I can continue to do well with long term. I have a closed Facebook group for all my customers, where I do games, videos, product tutorials, exclusive offers, polls and all kinds of other things to keep my customers updated on the latest products and discounts. I try to get a variation of posts, from personal posts, to photos with the products and also of course some product knowledge, as well as lots of fun stuff too.
If any of my readers fancy joining my Body Shop Facebook group, to see what sales, discounts and games I do, you can request to join. It’s called Look Good and Feel Good with Emma.
My Body Shop at Home Team
I joined the business in November 2018 and in February 2019, I decided I wanted to build myself a team and progress up the career plan. So I introduced my first team member in February and by April, I had a full team and promoted to an Area Manager. At the start of September 2019, that first teamie of mine, got her own promotion to Area Manager! I am now looking to build my team bigger and stronger and hopefully soon progress to Senior Area Manager. So whether you are just looking to earn a bit of extra cash or you want to progress up the career plan and become a manager yourself, I’d be thrilled to be your manager and your mentor. I will help you achieve whatever business goals you have.
Reasons for Becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant
People join this business for all kinds of reasons. You’ve seen my reasons for becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant earlier in this post. You might be wanting to join, for any of the following reasons:
To earn some extra money and top up your income
To work around family life and looking after children
For a social life
For a confidence boost
To build yourself a career
To ease some boredom
To be self employed around a health condition, which limits how much you can work.
Because you just bloomin’ LOVE The Body Shops products
Because you are passionate about cruelty free cosmetics
To get cheaper products for your own use
How To Join the Body Shop at Home
Whatever your reason for wanting to join, fill in this little form and I will give you a call/message/email and answer any questions you may have. There will be no pressure to join, just honest answers to your questions, from someone who is already a Body Shop at Home Manager (me!). Should you decide to join my team, I will guide you through that quick and easy process and I will give you full ongoing support and training. If you would prefer to join a different team (not mine), you will find details on how to do that, at the bottom of this post.
By filling in the form, you consent to me storing your details securely and contacting you via your preferred method. These details will be 100% confidential and not shared with anyone else. They will be deleted once I’ve made contact with you.
More about being a Body Shop at Home Consultant
Consultants get 25-30% commission on orders. There’s no minimum order amount. You do NOT have to buy kit top ups or anything other than your kit. You are not pressured with targets (well not on my team anyway!) You get many opportunities to earn free shopping You get opportunities to earn free products and cash bonuses
MYTHS about becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant
You have to do X amount of sales to get commission… No… No you do not! You get commission on ALL your sales.
You HAVE to do parties… Nope. Wrong again. You can do parties if you want to – theyre a brilliant way of getting sales. But you don’t have to. Likewise, you can sell via a closed Facebook group… but you don’t have to. You choose your own method of sales (as long as it doesn’t violate the consultant agreement!).
You have to buy things yourself to top up your kit. No, you do not. The kit is designed to include everything you need to be able to do a party or a borrow basket, or a stall. There’s no requirement for you to buy anything else yourself. The idea is to sell to customers, make money and earn the products you want with your free shopping. There is NO NEED to use your commission to buy stuff.
What my team think
I LOVE my team. There are now 15 of us (one of whom, is now also a manager). They are such a supportive bunch of ladies, who constantly help each other, even though many of them have never even met! I love that we have such an easy going team too. Nobody puts pressure on anyone and we all celebrate each others different reasons for being in this business.
I can only talk about MY TEAM as I can’t speak for all teams. I can’t guarantee that all teams will be equally as friendly and welcoming as my team. The same as I can’t vouch for the level of support, you’ll receive from other teams. But here’s a few testimonials from people on my Body Shop Team:
Here are three testimonials from ladies on my team, about what our team is like!
“My first body shop at home team lead by my friend Emma. Despite me starting saying I’d never recruit other people or make my own team, Emma lead me to believe I was capable of doing so and here I am 7 months down the line about to be a manager myself. Emma gives fab incentives to better yourself in the business, without the pressure that other teams seem to have. It’s the most supportive team full of women with their own goals and aspirations and where everyone is appreciated!”
“I was very wary about joining the body shop at home. I didn’t want to put money into something I couldn’t make successful and didn’t believe I could do it. Its been 3 months down the line and I am loving it. Team MacSonic has to be one of the most supportive bunch of ladies I’ve ever met! I bombarded them with questions at the start but nobody ever complained – just helped. There’s no pressure that you have to sell so much, that I see on a lot of other teams. We are individuals doing our own thing but support one another in our own goals. I am so pleased I started out with Emma and her team… should have joined so much sooner!”
“Team MacSonic is extremely supportive! Not just with body shop but with everything life throws at us.”
If you want to have a peek at my customer group, to see how I run things, it’s called Look Good and Feel Good with Emma. Please do not join if you are already a registered consultant.
And if any of my blog readers fancy joining up as one of my recruits and becoming a Body Shop at Home Consultant yourself… Just drop me a message or an email or fill in the form above. I’d love to have you on my team and will offer you full training and ongoing support. If you’re not sure, but it’s something you’d like to maybe chat about and consider… again drop me a message and I’ll be happy to chat through all your questions.
If you’d like to join, but would prefer to join a different team, head over to The Body Shop At Home Website or call 08000 929090.
10 Months in…
So ten months in… I’ve ran numerous stalls, where I certainly had to leap out of my comfort zone, and I feel I learnt more from each one. I’ve done numerous parties, fundraisers, borrow baskets and catalogue drops. I’ve been on the consultant retreat, recruited a whole team and promoted a manager. I’ve experimented with new makeup techniques and found a skincare regime that I’m happy with (for someone with ultra sensitive skin and eyes – that’s quite something!). I’ve done LIVE videos on my Facebook page, both with and without makeup. I even posted a 9 minute video, chatting about the products, to Facebook and YouTube, with NO EDITING! I’ve talked to strangers about The Body Shop at Home and The Body Shop products. I feel like my confidence has improved immensely already and I hope that by continuing to grow this second business, my confidence will continue to bloom too.
I have created a family goodwill advent calendar, which I’d love for people to share and join in with, but first, let me tell you why…
I love Christmas. One of my most popular Christmas blog posts is my advent calendar of family activities, which features 24 things to do in December with the kids. I think Christmas is a fabulous time to spend time with the people we love and to get out and about as much as we can with our kids. After all, time is the greatest gift you can give someone. One thing I have noticed recently though, is that much of Christmas nowadays, seems to have become about products, spending power, wishlists and telling our children that Santa only comes to well behaved children. This used to be known as the “season of goodwill”, but you don’t hear that phrase so much anymore. I want to teach my children about goodwill. About random acts of kindness, helping your local community and helping people less fortunate than yourselves. Because we might not feel like we have much to give right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give. We can give cheer, hope, smiles and goodwill. We can make gestures, some which cost a small amount and some which cost nothing.
So here we are, creating a family goodwill advent calendar. 24 random acts of kindness.
The idea of the goodwill advent calendar, is that you and your family, together, perform one act of goodwill, every day of advent.
We are going to do this goodwill advent calendar ourselves and hope to either blog or video all of these. Most likely just a short clip each day, a minute or less, uploaded to our YouTube channel. I will come back to this post and add links to any posts or videos we do. We would hugely appreciate any likes or shares on social media, so we can share the Christmas cheer and encourage more people to offer kindness to others this Christmas. If anyone wants to join in with our goodwill advent calendar, please let us know what you get up to in the comments of this post.
(Any videos or posts not uploaded on the advent day, will hopefully be added the day after!)
24 acts of Goodwill for our Goodwill Advent Calendar
Give somebody a secret gift. Buy them something and find a way to give it to them, without them knowing who it was!
Buy your Christmas cards from a charity shop, preferably a charity close to your heart.
Send a Christmas card to someone who is lonely. We recently had a campaign envelope come through the post. It said, “If you only send one card this Christmas…” and encourages you to write in the card and send it back. The charity then send the card on to someone who is lonely, vulnerable or homeless.
Take magazines which you have already read, to your local doctors surgery or hospital waiting room. Rather than just putting them straight in the recycling bin, someone who has a long wait will have the opportunity to read something current, rather than from three years ago.
Donate to your local PTA. Most schools have Christmas fairs and whether you donate a really nice raffle prize or a cheap bottle of lemonade for the tombola, they’ll surely appreciate it.
Find a local book swap. Some banks, coffee shops and librarys have them. Often you can buy a book for a small donation or swap a book. Instead of taking one home, leave one there. Realistically, how many times are you likely to read the same book over and over anyway?
Donate the things you no longer want, use or need, to a charity shop. Good quality items though, so that other people will want to buy them and raise money for the charity.
Leave a Christmas card for the postman, bin man and milk man. If you can afford it, include a tip or small gift. If you can’t afford to, perhaps make the card yourself, to show some thought has gone into it?
Send a friend or loved one a random message, out of the blue, complimenting them or telling them why you admire them or what you love about them.
Buy a suspended coffee. There are many coffee shops (usually independents) which allow you to buy a coffee for someone in need.
Get your children to write short notes for the teachers at their school. Something along the lines of, “I think you are a great teacher because…” and ask the receptionist to put them in the teachers pigeonholes. If your children are in secondary school and don’t want people to know, they could write them anonymously and post them.
Contact your nearest animal shelter and ask what they need. They always welcome donations of pet food, but many also ask for donations of old blankets or towels. That old tatty towel or blanket in the back of your airing cupboard might make a deserted old dog warm on a cold Christmas night.
Visit a nursing home. Call ahead first. Nursing homes often love visits from people. You could be dropping off a plant to brighten the lounge or some cookies for the staff, or giving up half an hour of your time to chat to an elderly lonely person.
Give somebody something homemade. Perhaps a Christmas tree decoration?
Take a Christmas card (and gift if you can afford it) in to the teachers and reception staff at your children’s school.
Leave a few coins and a note in the coin slots of a washing machine at your nearest launderette. Add a nice note if you like.
Give somebody something they really need. Whether that is a hug, a chat or something practical.
Sign up for a charity event to do in the new year. Keep the goodwill going.
Tape a coin to a vending machine, with a post it note, for the next person who comes along. Whether it’s 10 pence or a pound, it’ll put a smile on someone’s face.
Bake some cakes or cookies and take them round to one of your neighbours.
Leave an anonymous gift on the doorstep of someone you think will really appreciate it. Perhaps a box of chocolates for a single parent family who are living on a very low income. Perhaps someone who is working very hard lately or even someone who you’ve just not seen a smile from in a while.
Donate to a food bank. Food banks are hugely in demand at Christmas. Nobody chooses to use a foodbank, but it’s a lifeline for people in need. Food banks have lists of their most needed items and whether you buy the value brand or the luxury brand, these items will be hugely appreciated!
Get your children to record short video clips, for a family member that you wont see on Christmas day, and send it to them.
Take food, hot drinks and a Christmas card to the homeless, in the evening, after all the shops have shut. It’s a cold and miserable time to be sleeping on the streets.
I hope you’ve taken some inspiration from our goodwill advent calendar and I would love for as many people as possible to join in with these gestures. Please also share this post on social media, so we can spread the goodwill as far as possible. Let’s put the goodwill back into the season of goodwill!
Let me try and tell you what it’s like. The fear I mean. The fear of Cancer returning, when you’ve already beaten it twice. When it feels like the more battles you win, the more the odds stack against you.
Most of the time, I’m optimistic. I make the most of every day that I feel healthy. I know there are survivors of Leukaemia and Survivors of Thyroid cancer who have much worse long term side effects than me. People who struggle with energy levels and their immune system. I struggled with my immune system for many many years. In the last six years, a few lifestyle changes have revolutionised my life. Cutting down on sugar, caffeine, alcohol and not working 30-40 hour weeks has done wonders for my health.
I try to project strength, optimism and positivity about every aspect of life. I’m never one to wish time away, longing for the next thing. I live for the moment I appreciate every day. And my family are my everything.
But there’s a darker side to being a cancer survivor. One which I can’t always repress. Beyond the survivors guilt. Survivors guilt is a whole other story. Beyond that, there’s the fear of cancer returning.
The thing is, I seem to have quite a strong sixth sense. When I know something isn’t right, I do some research and it usually leads me down the right path.
When I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, I self diagnosed before I went to the doctor. I was right.
When I had HELLP syndrome, my own research picked up my diagnosis 4 weeks before my consultant.
Whenever I get a kidney infection (I’ve had a lot of these), I’ve gone to the doctor and told them what’s wrong, before I’ve even peed on the stick. And I’ve been right every time.
I knew when my pregnancy was ectopic, before the pain even kicked in. Before I even saw the doctor.
I know when I have a fever, without needing a thermometer.
I know when I’m going to be sick or have a migraine, a good few hours before it happens.
I know when I ovulate, because I can feel it.
I am very in tune with my body and my immense medical history has made me very good at accurately researching symptoms, without overreacting or becoming a hypochondriac.
I am very rarely wrong.
But sometimes I am.
I never saw the pre cancerous cells coming, on my first ever smear test.
I worry I will miss something else.
A few months ago, I started getting horrendous pain the day I ovulate. Can’t stand up, can’t sit down kind of pain. My periods went from their usual 4 day affair to a 1-2 day thing. The heavy feel-like-I’m-dying flow, reduced to a few hours and then virtually nothing. I get immensely tearful the day before my period. When I say tearful, it feels similar to clinical depression, although thankfully it only lasts a day or two. I get nausea and vomitting with my period now. The pelvic pain feels like the start of labour. It feels like my pelvis is going to fall out! I’m not sleeping properly either. My sleep is disturbed and I wake up a lot. Sometimes I wake up sweating. I can’t remember the last time I slept right through the night.
I am tired ALL-THE-TIME.
So tired that I got my oncologist to check my Thyroxine levels, which all came back fine. I was told this is definitely NOT the cause of my fatigue.
And I know, that these symptoms are all ovary related. I am aware that there are many conditions associated with ovaries which are not cancer. I also know I have a high chance of early menopause due to my chemo. BUT, this nagging feeling in the back of my mind keeps telling me it could be cancer again. And I know from attending a function with a top researcher into cervical and ovarian cancers than ovarian is one of the most frightening cancers to have.
And I’ve left it six months to make the appointment out of fear. Fear of cancer returning.
I have a predisposition to cancer due to both my former cancer treatments listing “secondary tumours” as a long term side effect.
Yes… I know it’s stupid. I know I shouldn’t have left it. I shouldn’t have waited. But I was overcome by fear.
I finally found the courage to book the doctor’s appointment. After waiting two long stressful weeks, I went to the appointment. It wasn’t my usual surgery or my GP. I drove around the car park for over half an hour trying to find a space. Eventually, I had to leave, find a side street to park in and walk to the doctor’s. I arrived ten minutes late and the receptionist refused to let me see the doctor.
I went back to my car and unleashed it all. Months of pent up worry and frustration. Months of slowly building fear. I sobbed loudly and hysterically in my car. I called my husband and then the doctor’s for a new appointment and the hysteria didn’t subside for a good half an hour.
I have had Cancer twice and I KNOW deep down in my gut, I KNOW I am going to have it again at some point in my life’s and I am SO SO scared that that time has come already.
Any member of my family getting cancer (or any terminal illness) is my biggest fear in life now.
The other thing playing on my mind, is early menopause. I’m only 32 and I don’t want my fertility taken away so soon. I battle with self-esteem issues already, without having to go through the menopause a decade or two early.
Sadly, early menopause is almost a certainty for me. But this early?
Obviously, I’d rather take the menopause over Cancer, but I’d rather be wrong about it all and be told I’m normal and healthy.
I am praying that I’m wrong. I want to be wrong. I really really cannot bear to think I could be right on this.
I went to my renewed appointment, at my own doctors surgery this time, with my own doctor. She didn’t fob me off with excuses or tell me I was overreacting. She said that she could understand my concerns and based on my medical history, she’d look into it. I’ve been booked in for blood tests to check for menopause and an ultrasound to check for cancers.
The doctor said she felt that it was highly likely that I am perimenopausal.
So that’s where I am. Only the tests will tell.
Worrying times. And right before Christmas again.
My scan is only hours away as I publish this post and it’s just sunk in.
I was recently invited to London for a Halloween themed launch event with tech brand Lenovo. Lenovo have just launched their brand new gadget, the Lenovo Smart Display with the Google Assistant. The concept of this event was to teach us all about how the Lenovo Smart Display works and how it can be used in the kitchen by both parents and children.
If you have a smart phone or a smart speaker at home, you’re probably familiar with virtual assistants. If you have an Android phone, then you probably have Google Assistant on your phone. Lenovo have decided to take Google Assistant to the next level of innovation and are the first tech producers to give Google Assistant a screen of its own. So fundamentally, it’s like a cross between a tablet and a virtual assistant. Clever right?
So how would you use the Lenovo Smart Display at home?
At the Lenovo Smart Display launch event, we had the lovely Kimberley Wyatt, former Pussycat Doll and Celebrity Masterchef winner, demonstrate for us. Alongside lots of Halloween themed activities, including face painting and icing biscuits of course! Kimberley said that she wanders down to the kitchen in the morning and says “Okay Google. Good Morning!”.
Everything always starts with “Okay Google” or “Hey Google” and once you say “Good Morning”, the Lenovo Smart Display then does the following:
Says “Good Morning Kimberley” (obviously it says the name of whoever is talking to it).
Tells you the current time.
Shows you the weather for the day, to help you plan what to wear.
Announces what’s in your calendar for the day ahead (synced to your own Google Calendar).
Reads you the news, complete with video footage.
You can edit the morning routine if you want to add something in or cut one of those features out. Features of the Lenovo Smart Display are also being regularly added and updated. It will also correct you, if you say “Good Morning”, when it is in fact, afternoon!
So what else can the Lenovo Smart Display with the Google Assistant do?
Supposing you have your Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant sitting on your kitchen windowsill… I use this example, because this is where I’d put it in my home. Here are some of the things you can do with it…
If you want to do some baking, you can ask the Lenovo Smart Display to find you a recipe. You can tell the assistant which recipe you’d like to choose, and it can read you (and show you) the recipe one step at a time, as and when you are ready. So unlike watching a YouTube video and having to keep pausing it, the Google Assistant waits for you, before telling you the next step. This provides a completely hands-free experience. So, if you have your hands covered in flour, you don’t have to worry about needing to press buttons or scroll the screen.
You might be like my husband, and enjoy watching car videos on YouTube whilst you do the washing up? Personally, I have no interest in car videos, so it’s a win-win – he gets to watch car videos and I get out of doing the washing up! Anyway, the point is, he can ask the Lenovo Smart Display to bring up YouTube and find the videos he wants to watch. He can ask the assistant to play, stop, rewind, fast forward, adjust the volume or move to another video, without even needing to dry his hands.
If you have a family like ours, you probably have children who wander in and out of the kitchen, whilst you are trying to prepare dinner. Irritating sometimes isn’t it? When you are cooking, is the one time you really need the children to entertain themselves for a bit. However, as they wander into the kitchen, demanding to sing along to a particular song, they can ask for it. You can programme the Lenovo Smart Display with the Google Assistant to listen for different family members voices. The children can then just ask for whichever song they want to play. Or if they are stuck with their homework or squabbling over a mundane question, they can ask Google.
You can also make calls and video calls through the Lenovo Smart Display and pull up Google Maps and get directions. You can also view your Google photos through this device and when it’s not in use, it can display random images from your gallery (if you want it to).
As pathetic as it sounds, even the most basic of functions, like having the time and date constantly on display, can be handy. I have literally never gotten around to buying a clock. I don’t have a clock anywhere in my house. And where do you need one, more than the kitchen? Put the flapjack in the oven and ask the Google Assistant to set a timer for you. Then you won’t forget about it and end up baking something which resembles tarmac (I have genuinely done this).
Connecting your smart home devices to the Lenovo Smart Display
We also have Phillips Hue lighting in our home, which can also be connected up to the Lenovo Smart Display. We can ask the Google Assistant to turn the lights on or off, dim them or change the colour of the light in any room where we have the bulbs. In fact, there are numerous WIFI products which you can control via the Lenovo. You might have an impressive WIFI sound system, control your heating through WIFI or even your coffee machine? There are over 5000 smart home products which can be used with the Lenovo Smart Display.
Physical features of the Lenovo Smart Display with the Google Assistant
The Lenovo Smart Display with the Google Assistant comes in a choice of two sizes. My personal preference, if using it in a kitchen, would be the 10 inch display, purely because bigger is better when you are wandering around the kitchen getting on with things. It also comes in an 8 inch option, for those who prefer a smaller display. And after all, there’s no limits on where you need to position this in your house – you could have one in every room if you wanted.
With a high definition screen and speakers, the vision and sound quality on this device is brilliant. Better than all the smart speakers I’ve personally tried myself.
For the safety conscious, who don’t like the idea of having the camera or microphone constantly on, there are solid buttons which you can press to turn off the microphone or camera. A TrueBlock Privacy shutter covers the microphone up and the microphone mute button is a hard key, so you can visibly see that it’s switched off.
You can also choose whether you want to have your Lenovo Smart Display in a landscape rotation with the speaker to the left, or portrait, with the speaker beneath. This is not like your usual tablet, I wouldn’t really call it portable. You can’t pop it in your handbag due to the shape of it. I’d definitely look at this as more of a smart home device or a kitchen appliance.
What I thought of the Lenovo Smart Display
It was great fun seeing the Lenovo Smart Display in action, using it for icing cookies and copying face paint designs. I was thoroughly impressed with the whole hands-free living ethos behind the design. I am looking forward to getting my hands on one to test it out in our own home. I think this is a great device which will quickly take over from smart speakers as having a screen adds so much functionality. And as Lenovo say with their Smart Display slogan, “Seeing is Better”.
At the time of publishing this post, the starting prices on these devices seem to be around the £229 mark for the 10 inch and £179 for the 8 inch.
HOWEVER, for a short time, there is a special offer on, starting today…
Make sure you take advantage of the Lenovo Smart Display Black Friday deals running on Lenovo.com from Friday 16th November until Monday 3rd December, as well at major retailers. During this time, the 8 inch device will sell at £129.99 (RRP £179.99) and the 10 inch will sell at £199.99 (RRP £229.99)
If you do buy one, based on my recommendation, do come back and let me know what you thought of it!